Misconceptions about humidity: you don't have to wear Chapstick or lotion. In the Mufasa and Scar companionship (translation: Sister Jones and Sister Rose), we are probably the main contributors to the makers of lip balm and lotion. It's a struggle, but at least we smell fantastic all the time.
We've had some adventures this week! It's been really fun. Weeks as a missionary are rollercoasters. I'm never feeling the same things day to day; there's always something new. There's always something different. It's amazing. The Lord has a new plan for us every single day, and I never know what my Heavenly Father has in store for us.
One night while planning, I'd felt a prompting to go see a past investigator who'd had a now-passed baptismal date. We'd been back a couple of times, but those visits had been fruitless. I felt uncomfortable adding her to our plans, but the feeling wouldn't go away. I figured, if we weren't meant to see her, the Lord would make sure we didn't.
Well, that's not what He did. In fact, He kept that window of time wide open so we would have plenty of time to go to her house.
Feeling nervous, we knocked. I figured she'd be at work; she was busy; she probably wasn't interested anymore. This feeling didn't make any sense, but we acted anyway.
She wasn't the one who answered the door. It was her brother, who I'd seen in passing while we'd been teaching her. At the time, he didn't seem interested in our existence. He didn't have a church; he wasn't particularly religious. He believed in God, believed in Jesus Christ, and he'd made some bad decisions.
When we asked for his sister, he told us she was busy. We were about to go, but he stepped onto the porch and shut the door behind him. He asked us what we did, and after we explained, he said, "I'd like to hear y'all's message."
We didn't get to share a full message, but Sister Jones and I shared our testimonies, said a prayer with him, and tried to invite the Spirit. We gave him a card, directed him to Mormon.org, and we left. He said he would talk to us when we came to see his sister again.
No, he isn't a new investigator. No, we didn't give him a Book of Mormon, but we did something for him. The Lord wanted us to be at his doorstep for a reason. What that reason was, I'm not totally sure. Maybe something we said benefited him somehow. I don't know. I don't need to; because God knows.
God has a greater plan for us and all of His children. This week, my patience has certainly been tried. Sister Jones and I have spent a greater portion of this week at the DMV, trying to renew my driver's license.
Do you ever try to do something, and obstacles keep coming up? Every turn you make, there's a new wall; a new problem; a new, unforeseen issue, and you aren't sure that you're even supposed to be going this way in the first place?
You'd think that, if you're doing the right thing and you're along the right path, things should be smooth sailing. That's what would make sense, right? But, I'm afraid that's incorrect. And, I've learned this from not just this DMV experience, but from multiple other points of my life. I always tend to refer to a quote from President Henry B. Eyring: "If you're on the right path, it will always be uphill."
I'd like that branded on me somewhere, so I'll never forget it. I remember when I first started my mission papers. It was fall of 2014. I was in school at BYU-Idaho. It was then that I'd received the prompting to serve, and as I'd prayed, received blessings, and acted, I began the process to becoming a full-time missionary.
Now, if you are unfamiliar with the Church's application process, let me explain it: it requires a lot of paperwork around insurance, mental and physical health evaluations, multiple interviews with Church leaders to evaluate your worthiness, questionnaires -- everything you can think of. It's rather extensive, but not impossible to complete. I've had friends who've submitted their papers within a week. I, however, was not so lucky. It took around five months for my papers to finally be submitted to Salt Lake City.
The moment I said, "I'm going to serve a mission" it was like Satan made it his personal duty to make sure I had the hardest time accomplishing that goal.
I had a hard time getting a hold of my home ward bishop (since I was still at school). Paperwork became an issue. I was in counseling and was dealing with anxiety that was detrimental to my lifestyle. My family was in the thick of a heavy trial. Interviews didn't go the way I'd envisioned them going -- everything that could have possibly gone wrong did.
I remember someone asking me if I was sure that this was actually what I was supposed to do. Maybe the Lord was trying to tell me that I needed to focus on something else.
But, more vividly, I remember the feelings that would swell in my chest whenever someone would say something like that. No, I knew that this what the Lord wanted me to do. Every fiber of my being confirmed that, yes, I was meant to be a missionary. It was like my spirit was pressing against my chest cavity, reaching for those who tried to convince me otherwise to tell them, "I know this is what I'm supposed to do. Do not deny what Heaven has confirmed."
I was determined. When I knew what God wanted me to do, it did not cross my mind to do something contrary to it. I would become a missionary, no matter what it took.
Y'all can now see the result of those trials. I am now a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been serving for a period of ten months (eleven on the twenty-sixth of this month), and I plan to serve until the end. Because that is what the Lord has destined for me, as far as I know.
Do not be discouraged when it seems that nothing is going right. Going uphill hurts. It isn't easy; the path of discipleship has never been easy, nor will it ever be. But, the happiness you receive from these trials you will experience are incomparable to anything you will ever feel in this life.
Jesus Christ carries you through your trials. That was His purpose. Multiple times during my missionary application process, I would spend nights in tears, trying to find solace in the scriptures and in my prayers. I remember opening the scriptures to Ether chapter 12 in the Book of Mormon, and finding verses 9 through 12. Those verses are what truly fortified my decision to serve when I felt that I was on the verge of breaking and giving in.
God knows what's in store for you. He's given you the Savior to carry you through those hills that feel like mountains.
And at the end of it, you can turn back, holding the Savior's hand, and seeing the miles over which you've traveled.
"O, Lord, I am yet strong; give me one more mountain."
Have a good week.
|Chalk Talk! <3 We did two of these this week! But...I'll give you pictures of the other one next week since they're on Sister Jones's camera.|
|Comp. selfie (by accident)|
|The beach! When it's sunny and hot!|